PSB in new research partnership with Afro-Caribbean Business Network

By Shivyoshita Sood

Sheridan’s Pilon School of Business (PSB) is partnering with Afro-Caribbean Business Network (ACBN) to research and identify the needs of Black entrepreneurs. The two-year collaborative project aims to develop meaningful recommendations and resources to help build business capacity.

The Sheridan-ACBN research project will also develop a best-practices guide for business owners, create a training curriculum and a mentoring program and collect data, which will be led by a Sheridan student researcher from the PSB.

This research will “shine a light on Black businesses and entrepreneurship.”

Ryan Knight, the founder of ACBN, is a Sheridan business grad and owner of Brampton-based social enterprise Detailing Knights. He says he’s excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with Sheridan as this research will “shine a light on Black businesses and entrepreneurship.”

“As a community, we face invisibility in currently available data. Race-based data has not been historically collected, therefore, the actual reality that many entrepreneurs face in the Black community is not adequately reflected,” said Knight.

Dr. Brian Chama, the coordinator of Sheridan’s International Business program, will oversee the project. He says that this is a tremendous opportunity for Sheridan to showcase its expertise in research, business and entrepreneurship.

“Collaborating with our internal stakeholders, industry and community partners on meaningful, socially-informed research with real-world implications benefits everyone involved. We’re excited for the launch of this project as it will contribute significantly to students’ learning and the outcome will help to inform and support Black entrepreneurship in our community,” says Dr. Anne-Liisa Longmore, dean of PSB and project supporter.

An advisory committee that includes diverse voices from intersectional communities will be formed in the first year of partnership. It will include: Dr. Chama; Dr. Shady Hana, human resources professor; Dr. Bamadev Paudel, professor of economics; Naira Ahmed, a professor of digital creative design; Nicola Harris, ACBN lead community researcher and PhD candidate in organizational leadership; research assistant Faith Wanjika, a recent graduate from the International Business Management Program; and community researcher Michelle Clarke, MSW. The group will collectively provide strategic direction and advice and assist in decision-making to help guide the research process and ensure objectives are met.

The research findings and complimentary resources from this project will also be valuable in informing future post secondary curriculum planning for Black entrepreneurs. 


Shivyoshita Sood is a student in Sheridan’s Public Relations – Corporate Communications program.

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